I got married in spring 2019 and my husband has two young children from a previous relationship. I’ve embraced being a stepmum and love it when his kids come to stay, but his ex is a real problem.
She uses any excuse to get in touch with my husband and whenever she shows up with the kids, she often wears quite provocative clothes – tight tops, short skirts, figure-hugging dresses etc.
I know it’s deliberate and I can feel her looking at me for a reaction.
It’s really irritating because my husband and his family walk on eggshells around this woman and never want to upset her. I think it’s probably because she has a track record of being volatile and they don’t want anything to affect their relationship with the children.
I haven’t mentioned the sexy outfits to my husband because I don’t want to sound paranoid or insecure, but I have tried to talk to him about the fact she contacts him a lot.
He just says it’s the way she is – she’s a “control freak” when it comes to the kids apparently and there’s nothing else to it.
I can’t tell if I’m being unreasonable or if this is a real problem for our marriage. Can you help?
I don’t think your hubby is going to run back to his ex because she shows up in sexy outfits. They must have split up for a good reason and he married you, so you shouldn’t feel insecure.
Look, there’s nothing you can do about what she wears, but I think it’s reasonable to question the amount of involvement she has in your lives if she’s getting in touch about stuff that’s not to do with the kids or she just wants to banter with your husband.
Also, he can think about how he replies, or if he replies, and can gradually start to take a step back from that relationship.
She’s always going to be in your lives to an extent because of the children and you have to accept that, but you can limit it to decisions regarding the kids.
I also think you need to give it a bit of time because these situations are rarely straightforward and everyone has to get used to a new way of doing things. Ideally, it is good to keep things friendly and civil because that’s in the best interests of the kids and everyone else involved.
If she’s single, then she probably has time on her hands to be more involved than she needs to be, but I’m sure when she meets someone else, she’ll be in touch a lot less.
What’s great is that you get on well with his children and that will make everything easier as time goes on. Your hubby’s ex might also be a bit jealous or sad or lonely, so she’s trying too hard.